On The Red List – Europe’s Endangered Species

28 January 2015
nature Views

Throughout 2014, the international conservation community celebrated the 50th anniversary of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and its significant contribution to guiding global preservation action. The Red List is now the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species.

European Red Lists have been completed for 6,000 species, including mammals, reptiles, amphibians, dragonflies, saproxylic beetles, butterflies, freshwater molluscs, freshwater fishes and vascular plants. The assessments of all bees, marine fishes, birds and of the most important medicinal plants will be completed at the beginning of 2015, which will bring the number of species assessed to 10,000.

Over the years, the European Red List has become a powerful tool to inform political leaders on biodiversity conservation and the protection of Europe’s natural resources. It is an instrument to measure progress towards achieving the EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy and the Strategic Plan of the Convention on Biological Diversity as well as to guide the allocation of financial resources and support priority setting for conservation actions.

  • Mustela lutreola (European Mink) – Critically Endangered. Over the last 150 years, the European Mink has declined severely and currently exists in northern Spain, western France and the Danube delta in Romania, Ukraine and Russia. Source: Tiit Maran

  • Rosalia alpina (Rosalia Longicorn) – Least Concern. The Rosalia is threatened in several European countries. National measures are urgently needed in areas of its range where population and habitat are declining. Source: Michel Candel

  • Sciaena umbra (Brown Meagre) – Near Threatened. The Brown Meagre is found in the English Channel as well as the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. Source: Arnaud Abadie

  • Hyla intermedia (Italian Tree Frog) – Least Concern. The Italian Tree Frog, as its name would suggest, is found primarily in Italy, though there are small populations in southern Switzerland and western Slovenia. It is potentially threatened by local habitat loss through urbanization and water pollution. Source: Antonio Romano

  • Canis Lupus (Grey Wolf) – Least Concern. Though the general European wolf population is listed as least concern, wolf populations in various parts of the original range vary from extinct to relatively pristine. The total number of wolves in the EU28 is likely to be around 4,000-5,000, while in all of Europe, that number likely exceeds 10,000. Source: John Linnell

  • Ischnura hastata (Citrine Forktail) – Vulnerable. The Citrine Forktail is a highly dispersive species, presumed to have reached as far as the Azores via wind storms all the way from its native America. Source: John C. Abbott

  • Salmo trutta (Brown Trout) – Least Concern. The Brown Trout is a widespread species, though parts of some populations have declined severely as a result of pollution. Source: Andreas Hartl

  • Phengaris teleius (Scarce Large Blue) – Vulnerable. The Scarce Large Blue appears in widely scattered populations in Central Europe and is threatened by changes in agricultural management (drainage, improvement or abandonment). Source: Chris van Swaay

  • Soosia diodonta (Land Snail) – Near Threatened. The Land Snail contains 10-15 known sub-populations, which are native to Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia. Its range is far from being well studied. Increasing deforestation and forest disturbance are the main threats to the species. Source: Tamas Deli

  • Gypaetus barbatus (Bearded Vulture) – Near Threatened. The Bearded Vulture appears in India and in parts of Africa and Europe. In 2010, the total population in EU countries was estimated at 175 couples. Source: Giorgio Quattrone

  • Pleurodeles waltl (Sharp-ribbed salamander) – Near Threatened. Also known as the Sharp-ribbed Salamander or the Spanish Ribbed Newt, this species is found mostly in southern Iberia and in the coastal plain of northern Morocco. Source: Henk Wallays

  • Delphinus delphis (Short-beaked Dolphin) – Data Deficient. The Short-beaked Common Dolphin appears in different parts of Europe; the relative size of its sub-populations is not known and their overall status in Europe is data deficient. Source: Giovanni Bearzi

  • Thymallus thymallus (Grayling) – Least Concern. While no major widespread threats are known, the Grayling suffers from river pollution, dam constructions and river regulation and is increasingly vulnerable to climate change. Source: Andreas Hartl

  • Aesculus hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) – Near Threatened. The Horse Chestnut is native to Greece and the central Balkan Peninsula, but has been introduced throughout Europe and even North America. The species has suffered from defoliation by an alien invasive species of leaf miner moth. Source: Brian Roy Rosen

  • Alytes muletensis (Mallorcan Midwife Toad) – Vulnerable. The Mallorcan Midwife Toad is restricted to the Sierra Tramuntana of northern Mallorca in Spain. The population is approximately 500-1,500 adult couples appearing in fewer than 5 locations. Source: Richard Griffiths

  • Bombus cullumanus – Critically Endangered. The population of Bombus callamanus has declined by more than 80% over the last ten years as a result of climate change and changes in farming practices. The Western Europe population is on the verge of extinction and is isolated as a sub-population in Spain. Source: Pierre Rasmont

  • Apium bermejoi – Critially Endangered. Apium bermejoi is a herb that grows in the acidic soils of dried out stream beds, reproducing from seeds and from horizontal stems called stolons which take root to form new plants. The total population numbers is less than 100 individuals. Source: Juan Rita Larrucea

  • Bombina pachypus (Appenine Yellow-bellied Toad) – Endangered. The Appenine Yellow-bellied Toad is native to Italy, but has declined in almost all of its range over the past 10 years as a result of loss and fragmentation of its wetland habitat for agriculture and due to its susceptibility to a certain pathogen. Source: Antonio Romano

  • Carcharodus lavatherae (Marbled Skipper) – Near Threatened. The Marbled Skipper appears mostly in Europe, but is extinct in Slovakia and Turkey. Source: Chris van Swaay

  • Emys orbicularis (European Pond Turtle) – Near Threatened. Populations of the European Pond Turtle are widely spread but very fragmented in Europe – in the northern extremes of its range, populations are small, while in the Mediterranean and Caucasus regions, populations are more abundant. Urbanization, road construction and wetland drainage play a key role in the species decline. Source: James Harding

  • Ceriagrion georgifreyi (Turkish Red Damsel) – Critically Endangered. In Europe, the Turkish Red Damsel can only be found on the Greek islands of Kerkyra, Thasos and Zakynthos, though their actual population size is unknown. The species could easily become extinct in the next decade. Source: Roy Woodward

  • Eschrichtius robustus (Gray Whale) – Regionally Extinct. The Gray Whale has been Regionally Extinct since the 1700s and is now only found in the North Pacific and adjacent waters. Source: David Weller